Recent inflammatory remarks by Iran’s new President Ahmadinejad included the phrase “wiping Israel off the map.” However, his remarks were followed by a flurry of statements from moderate Iranian leaders assuring the world that Tehran is not contemplating such an agression. What they meant to say was that they were not going to carry out any large scale agression against Israel – at least not while American troops are nearby. But they’re thinking about it, as they always have, for the dirty deeds of suicide bombers reveal their hatred.
What makes Ahmadinejad’s statement all the more interesting is that Israel doesn’t appear on most Arabic maps. On those maps, Israel is usually referred to as Palestine. Jerusalem is presented as belonging to the Palestinians alone – their capital. Its central importance and holiness for the Jews are not mentioned, neither is the fact that the Jewish population constitutes the vast majority of its inhabitants.
Since Israel is not defined on their maps, does that mean the Iranian president wants to wipe Israel off the maps in our textbooks? If so, he need not bother, for most American school kids seldom look at their geography texts. If they did, it would interfere with them looking at their cell phones or iPods. Neither are many willing to read a Bible to learn the truth about God’s plan for His chosen people.
Right now, from a purely external viewpoint, it seems doubtful that Iran would attack Israel with such a strong U.S. presence in the Middle East. However, the continued existence of Israel is not based on American munificence or muscle. It is based on the God of Israel and His promises to that nation and the descendants of Abraham. Whether the United States remains or runs, God guarantees that the nation of Israel will continue to exist, for He has always had a remnant that He protects. As He does that, His goodness flows over and onto those who do not know or revere Him. That includes all unbelieving Jews and Gentiles.
As the apostle Paul wrote, “…they are not all Israel who are of Israel.” Only the children of the promise are counted as true Israelites and, thus, obtain the full blessing of God. Although Israel has changed through the years, God has never changed. He has always been merciful to them – and now us – and He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. He will bring to fruition His plans for this world. Be thankful – if you know Him in Christ – that you are part of the eternal plan devised by God at the foundation of the earth.
Mountain Time Moment
1 O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still.
2 See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads.
3 With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.
4 "Come," they say, "let us destroy them as a nation,
that the name of Israel be remembered no more."
Psalm 83:1-4 NIV
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